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Lawmakers agree on rail safety bill

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image ap"><span>AP</span></div><span class="caption-text">Officials do not rule out the possibility of the death toll rising in the Metrolink crash. (AP Photo Hector Mata)</span></div>
September 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Senator Barbara Boxer met with lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday for a hearing on rail safety laws in the wake of the recent deadly train crash. House and Senate negotiators agreed on a safety bill late Tuesday. Late Tuesday afternoon, lawmakers agreed on a rail-safety bill spurred by the deadly Metrolink train crash in Chatsworth Sept. 12. The bill includes reforms the National Transportation Safety Board has been pushing for years.

The railroad safety reform bill will limit work hours of train engineers in an effort to prevent driver fatigue. The bill also requires rail lines to use new safety technology. In addition, the bill allots billions of dollars for Amtrak.

The bill is expected to be voted on in the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning.

The actions come after a train crash in Chatsworth killed 25 people on Sept. 12. It was the nation's deadliest train accident since 1993.

The agency that oversees train operations, the Federal Railroad Administration, has been operating under safety legislation that expired 14 years ago.

Boxer and other lawmakers want to reduce and limit the number of hours engineers can work each week. Operator fatigue is estimated to be a contributing factor in 25 percent in serious train accidents.

Lawmakers also want to mandate technology that can stop trains that are headed on a collision course.

The Senate Commerce Committee heard from NTSB investigators and rail officials. The Committee sought to work out a deal on the reforms by the end of the week before Congress takes a break.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's office released a list of people killed in the crash.

  • Christopher Aiken, 38
  • Dennis Arnold, 75
  • Dean Lafoy Brower, 51
  • Alan Lloyd Buckley, 59
  • Yi Chao, 71
  • Spree Desha, 35
  • Walter Arney Fuller, 54
  • Ronald Grace, 55
  • Michael Hammersly, 45
  • Jacob Hefter, 18
  • Kari Hsieh, no age given
  • Paul Long, no age given
  • Roger Spacey, 60
  • Ernest Stephen Kish II, 47
  • Gregory Lintner, 48
  • Manuel Macias, 31
  • Aida Magdaleno, 19
  • Beverly Mosely, 57
  • Charles Peck, 58
  • Howard Barry Pompel, 69
  • Donna Ramata, 49
  • Robert Sanchez, 46
  • Doyle Jay Souser, 56
  • Maria Elenea Villalobos, 18
  • Atul Vyas, 20
  • Eyewitness News Reporter Leo Stallworth, Amy Powell, Gene Gleeson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

     

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